10/31/11

1 Morning Moo's {HOT} Chocolate Milk for Halloween!


We usually get a dusting of snow on the ground around Halloween and the neighborhood kids come dressed in their costumes ... and a winter coat.  Because it is usually cold, we serve hot chocolate to the trick or treaters ... and to their parents that come with them.

Augason Farms sent me a sample of their Morning Moo's Chocolate milk.  It is called a "low fat milk alternative" because it is made with a combination of whey and non fat dry milk.  I have been using Morning Moo's Chocolate Milk for over 15 years, and my family loves it!



Gone are the days of lumpy powdered milk drink.  This is so easy to make.

1) Ffill a clean milk jug with a couple of inches of HOT, HOT tap water.


2)  Scoop in three level cups of powdered chocolate Morning Moo's.

I love using the top of a cut 2 liter plastic soda bottle as a funnel.  Fits perfectly in the milk jug and washes up fine in the top rack of the dishwasher.


3)  Put the lid on, and give it a shake!  Turn the jug upside down to make sure you got all the powder.


4)  Fill the rest of the jug with COLD water and set in the fridge overnight. 

In the morning, pour yourself a thick and smooth glass of chocolate milk!

The skinny:  8 oz is 110 calories, 1 gram of fat, no transfat, and 21 g of carbs

This stuff tastes great hot, too ~

Cut a large marshmallow in half (you can use lightly oiled scissors if you don't want the lines) and stick a chocolate chip in each one.  Easy, huh?  Gotta love simple and easy!


Happy Halloween!




I was given a sample of Augason Farm's Morning Moo's to try.  No other compensation was given to write this post and all the opinions expressed are totally mine. 

10/28/11

5 Yummy Mummy Sugar Cookies!


These sugar cookies were gobbled up quickly by kids and adults alike at our church party last night.  What was even more exciting was a neighbor of mine wants me to bake up a batch of these for her family party tonight! 

What is so great about these cookies (other than they are darling) is that they are easy to make. 

No rolling.
No cutting.
All you need is a cookie scoop and a drinking glass.

You can get the easy peasy recipe and directions for the cookie and frosting here.

Oh, and it doesn't take a talented artist or hours to decorate these, either. 

First, spread a thin layer of Butter Frosting on a cooled cookie.


I looked EVERYWHERE for royal icing eyes and couldn't find any.  I did find these candies and decided that they would taste way better!


Put two of the white York Peppermint Patty pieces and dot them each with a dot of Wilton black decorating gel. A small .75 oz tube is under $2.


Then fill a decorating bag with a # 103 tip.  I believe this is a rose petal tip?


Start with a "stripe" over the eyes, then under the eyes.  Then fill in as much or as little as you want.


Happy Halloween!

10/27/11

2 Jalapeno Jelly Frankenstein!



My husband made Jalapeno Jelly a couple of weeks ago and I couldn't resist turning a jar into a Frankenstein!

Used: strip of fur around the lid, Rolo candies on the sides, and stickers from vinyl letters/numbers.

Easy and fun!

Happy Halloween!

10/26/11

5 Country Fried Boneless Chicken & Milk Gravy


This recipe comes from the Deals to Meals blog, and it is pretty darn tasty.  Every Sunday, my mom would either cook up a pot roast or fry up some whole chicken.  The only things I would change are to reduce the amount of garlic powder (2T.)  and cut the flour mix in half, as I had quite a bit left over.

I used 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut them in half length-wise for 6 (1/2" thick)  pieces, total.   I find this method of cutting the chicken to be easier and less messy than pounding the chicken.

The first thing you want to do is get your dipping station ready.  The flour mixture is separated into two bowls.  Preheat your oil in a skillet to 360°F  ~ for me, this is med-high on my gas cook top and the oil is shimmering...


I marinated my chicken in the buttermilk, although the recipe doesn't call for it. 

Dip the chicken pieces into the flour, back into the buttermilk, and into the second bowl of flour mix.

Tongs are very helpful to use, unless you want to batter coat your fingers!


Allow the coated pieces to sit for 5 minutes before cooking ... uh, er ... frying.


Cook three minutes on each side.  You can keep these warm in a 300°F preheated oven, on a wire rack over a baking sheet.  (This will help keep the underside crisp)

After all the chicken is cooked, I mean fried, it's time to make the gravy.

Take 2 Tablespoons of the oil from the chicken skillet and mix in 3 Tablespoons of all purpose flour.  Stir and cook over medium heat for a minute or so to cook out the raw flour taste.


Deals to Meals pours their milk slowly, while whisking to avoid a lumpy gravy.  I pour mine all at once and quickly stir ~ stirring continuously until the milk/flour mixture is completely dissolved. 

What is important is that you dissolve everything before heating it up to thicken it.  It will take about 5 minutes on med-high to get it to thicken.


A perfectly fried piece of boneless chicken, with mashed potatoes, gravy, and grilled corn on the cob, makes a fine Sunday meal!


Country Fried Chicken & Gravy
(4x6 recipe download)     (full page printable recipe)

10/24/11

13 Kitchen Tip: Slicing Olives Quickly


Comparing the canned olives side by side, the sliced ones were twice the price of the whole olives!  I needed a bunch of sliced olives to use as a topping for a pizza party and discovered a cool kitchen tool to use ...

an egg slicer!  I love kitchen tools that have more than one purpose.

This egg slicer is from Ikea.  Insert olives,


 quickly close the top ...


and if the olives don't get cut all the way through, just push 'em through the wires.


Done!


Do you have any other uses for your egg slicer?

10/21/11

3 Summer in a Bottle: Dehydrating Tomatoes


I have seen many recipes using sun dried tomatoes.

Can you do these in an oven and achieve the same results?

Sure, you can!

If you have a convection oven, you may be in luck ~ it is possible that it has a "dehydrate" setting.

On my Kitchen Aid convection oven, all I have to do is push convection bake, hold it for 5 seconds, and "dehydrate" comes on with a temperature of 140°F.

I've had this feature for 13 years and have never used it.  Hello.....

What I needed first was a drying rack.  Kitchen Aid used to sell the kits, but alas, no longer.  : (

The oven door needs to be open while drying, to allow any moisture to escape and shorten the drying time.  This is easily solved by putting a cork on the oven light button, turning the light off and acting as a spacer, propping the door open.


What if you don't have a convection oven?  You can still dry tomatoes using this method.

I found these Big Chief Drying Screens at Cabela's. It is originally intended for electric smokers, but I found it a perfect size to use in my oven.  It is top-rack dishwasher safe.

Using my Oxo mandoline slicer, I was able to slice all of the tomatoes 1/8" thick.  Oh yeah, baby!

Lay all the tomatoes on the dehydrating sheet, over my Silpat baking mat, making sure the tomatoes do not overlap each other.


I put the dehydrating sheet directly onto the oven rack.  Looking around the Web, I found this drying process can take anywhere from 8-12 hours ... it depends on the size and thickness of the tomato.


... but these were ready in five hours!  You will want these to be dry and pliable, but not mushy.  Any moisture left behind will turn to mold quickly, so if you are unsure, store these in a Ziploc baggie in the freezer.

I think I will try a meatier (Roma) tomato next time ...

Side note:  MUST USE oil spray on the dehydrating sheet.  These dried beauties really stuck!  I had to carefully pry each one by one ...


*sigh*

There we go.  Oven dried tomatoes, ready for a new recipe!


 What is YOUR favorite way to use sun dried tomatoes?

10/19/11

6 Costco Rotisserie Chicken Breast ~ Ready to Use!


I need chicken breasts for my Asian Chicken Salad wraps, and I needed them STAT.

I had a difficult time finding the frozen variety; besides, I didn't have time to thaw the chicken.  Of course, there were the breaded, nugget variety, but I wanted simple, plain, REAL chicken ...

Sure, there were fresh, fajita style chicken strips available, but they were pricey and had flavor ... think spicy, peppered, and terriyaki.

I spied the hot, Costco rotisserie chicken ... 

Hmmmm.... I could take it home and rip it apart, but this salad is better with cold chicken.

I glanced around and saw that Costco makes Chicken Noodle soup, Chicken pot pies, Chicken Salad, and ... bam ... I got an idea.

I asked the two gentlemen working the rotisserie counter, "Do you have any rotisserie chicken already cut up, ready to go?"

Sure we do!  They are in bags and weigh about 3 pounds.  How many do you want?


So that's what they use in all those chicken meals ~ cold, ready to use rotisserie chicken!

All white meat, ready to chop and use, and pretty darn tasty, too!  Think of what you can make:
 ... and much, much more!


What are you waiting for? 

These are not found in the deli or refrigerated section.  You'll have to smile, bat your eyelashes and sweetly ask for it at the rotisserie counter.

You'll be glad you did!

10/18/11

2 Silpat Winner!


Wow.

268 entries for this lovely giveaway!  I'm thrilled!

I wish I could give everyone their very own Silpat....

Thanks to all of you who are new and loyal followers, who blogged, FaceBooked and tweeted this giveaway!  Many of you have one of these beauties and would love another one.  Many of you also harbored a secret desire to have not only one, but TWO of these to bake with.

What would you make with these?  Cookies!!  Hands down, cookies were the preferred treat to bake with these Silpats.

Other uses?  Rolling out pie crusts, kneading bread dough, baking granola, caramel, rolls, caramel apples, toffee, biscuits, the list can go on.

O.k, I'll stop rambling, off to declare a winner ...

Heading to Random.org,

entering in 268,

and clicking on the "generate" button ... I'm getting butterflies in my stomach ...  what's the number??




Really?  30?  Not two hundred and something?  

Hey, this is random, folks ...  off to find comment 30 ....  and here it is!


Hooray!  Congratulations to Kitty, the sweet treat author from the blog, Fahrenheit 350°!  She has many sweet creations on her blog, and she is lucky enough to sell Pecan Logs, Candy Turtles, and Spider Web Caramel Apples .... who am I kidding?  You would be the lucky one to eat one of her treats!

I have another giveaway in the works for November, so stick around!  You'll need this giveaway for your Thanksgiving meal ...  can't wait!


10/17/11

6 Easy Whipping Cream Potatoes with Simply Potato Shreds


When I tasted this dish many, many moons ago, I was struck by how creamy, melt-in-my-mouth, and tasty this was.  I just had to have the recipe!

I asked my friend for the recipe and was simply stunned by how .... well ... simple it was.

Get this.  Four ingredients:  shredded potatoes, whipping cream, salt and pepper!

When you make this recipe from peeled, shredded potatoes, you have to rinse them several times in clean water each time to remove the starch, and pat them dry.

Thanks to Simply Potatoes and the FoodBuzz Tastemaker program, making this recipe just got easier and, well, ...  simpler!


First, you butter an 8"x8" pan.



Then you open a package of Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns ...


Layer a few shredded hash browns on the bottom, sprinkle some salt and pepper, and repeat layering, till you have used the entire package.

Pour 2 pints of whipping cream (or heavy cream) on top.


It looks really soupy, but the potatoes will absorb every drop ...


Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 50 minutes and this is what you'll get ...


Excuse me while I polish this off and walk a million miles on the treadmill ...


Oh, you want the recipe?  Okay, here it is.  I didn't know what to call it, but I think the name fits...

Whipping Cream Shredded Potatoes
(4x6 recipe download)     (full page printable recipe)



Want to win a year's supply of Simply Potatoes?  A winner is chosen every month on the Simply Potatoes website.  Go ahead and enter!





I received a coupon for a Simply Potatoes product from Simply Potatoes through the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program.  I received no compensation for this post. The recipe and the loaded calories are totally my fault.  Enjoy!
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